Features

We Tracked Down the Boy on the Old P500 Bill 

He has the most interesting story to tell.
IMAGE JOHN CHUA, ANGELO GUTIERREZ
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Angelo Gutierrez was only three years old when his parents brought him to the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986. Through a post on social media, Esquire Philippines was able to track him down and interview him. 

According to Gutierrez, his parents lost sight of him that day. 

“I was with my parents, my aunt, and my uncle, and we were caught in a traffic jam along EDSA on the way to a relative’s house in Pasig. Knowing that there was a social movement happening, my parents decided to pull over and be one with the people,” Gutierrez tells Esquire

“My parents lost sight of me in the middle of a huge crowd and got so worried, just to find out I was picking up stalks of flowers on the ground and handing it over to the people around me.”

Little did they know that photographer John Chua snapped a photo of Gutierrez handing out a flower to a soldier. A similar photo shot by another photographer would make it on the front page of a daily broadsheet the next day. 

“The following day, they were all surprised that a picture of me giving a flower to a soldier was printed on the front page of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.”

The picture shot by Chua has since been immortalized on the reverse side of the P500 bill.

Photo by John Chua.
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What The Little Boy on the Old P500 Bill Does Now

Today, Angelo Gutierrez has established a successful career in the healthcare industry after graduating from college. He is 39 as of this writing. 

“I’ve just recently moved to the United States to work as a nurse. I am also planning to pursue a post-grad course to become a Nurse Practitioner. I spend my free time mostly with my relatives and friends and I love traveling,” he tells Esquire

According to Gutierrez, he had no idea about the significance of the EDSA People Power when he was handing out flowers to people on the road. But as he grew up, he realized what an honor it was to be part of history. 

“The more I understood the significance of EDSA, the more I felt humbled and honored to be a reminder of that milestone in our history. It was a small act from an innocent boy but if it creates even just a small positive impact, I am glad to have been part of that.”

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Some people don’t believe he was the kid on the P500 bill.

According to Gutierrez, it was interesting growing up to be one of the few living persons in the world to be featured on paper money while still alive. 

“When I was in grade school, some schoolmates would ask if I could give them P500, which I myself do not have,” Gutierrez recalls. 

“And just recently, I’ve read comments saying I could not be that boy in the P500 bill because they think I look young to be that little boy who was in EDSA 36 years ago. I’ll take it as a compliment although it is not really uncommon to see young-looking people at this time especially for us Filipinos.”

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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